The world has become a much smaller place than it used to be. Invisible barriers which used to exist at our borders have come down.
Transportation and communications flow rapidly around the planet. It is easier than ever for buyers to place their purchase orders overseas. Competition now comes from faraway lands where high-quality products are produced at remarkably low prices. Is this a threat? Absolutely, and it’s a serious one! But within threat lies opportunity.
We all know about the outsourcing to other lands of our materials and components, our jobs and our factories. However, there is a growing trend toward reshoring back to domestic supply chains. Fighting toe to toe on price with offshore competition is a failed strategy. Customers are now grasping the distinction between low price and increased overall value, and they are awarding contracts accordingly.
The challenge for every manufacturing company is to identify what makes it unique and to develop its value proposition. What can you offer that your desired market better than anyone else?
Competitive advantage is defined as the unique skills, resources or attributes that competitors cannot effectively replicate. Winning strategies must be based on developing, solidifying and exploiting your competitive advantage. Put simply, this is what will make it easy for customers to make the decision to buy from you rather than your competitor.
All of us need to ask the question, “Why do our customers choose to do business with us?” What makes your company unique? Will you be able to sustain your competitive advantage over the test of time? Your ability to answer these strategic questions may determine your ability to compete in today’s challenging global economy.